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Friday, Jun 24, 2011

  

EVE Online Microtransaction Uproar

Greed Is Good: Purportedly leaked internal bulletin shows CCP’s “refreshing” new direction outlines some of the crazy microtransaction item prices in EVE Online since the launch of the Incarna update for CCP's MMORPG. They also share a leaked internal memo from CCP that has been confirmed as authentic by Massively, that indicates that CCP may go back on their promise that they will not allow microtransactions to impact gameplay, as it says: "Not all virtual purchases will focus on customization: some will simply be new items, ammunition, ships, etc. that can be purchased outright." There's a post on the EVE Insider Forums where CCP Pann admits: "I’m here to buy time while we try to sort things out. No sense in lying about it so I'll call a spade a spade." That initial post promises to address three issues going forward: the high cost of goods in the Noble Market, unhappiness with the Captain’s Quarters, and performance issues with Incarna. As of this writing that thread has well over 200 pages of replies. Thanks James.

Alpha Polaris and Demo Released

Turmoil Games now offers online sales of Alpha Polaris, a new horror-themed adventure game set on an oil research station. A playable demo is available, and here's a bit on the game:

In the midst of the snowfields of Greenland lies Alpha Polaris™, an American oil research station. High above, the ion storm of the century is gathering, bringing about a strange intermixing of reality and night terrors. It is up to Rune Knudsen, a Norwegian biologist, to take on a desperate struggle against fear and death, and to face the primordial force lurking beyond the veiled sky.

“The heart of the game is its restrained horror setting. It allows us to explore a wide range of human themes in a realistic way: paranoia, isolation, friendship, love and so on. To us, that is the core of a good horror adventure.” -project leader Teemu Vilén.

WoW Patch Notes

The World of Warcraft Website now offers patch notes for the upcoming version 4.2 "Rage of the Firelands" patch for Blizzard's MMORPG. They also offer a Rage of the Firelands Guide which includes a previously released cinematic trailer.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Trailer

The Star Wars: The Old Republic Website now offers a new trailer from E3 2011 with Battle for Alderaan highlights from BioWare's upcoming Star Wars MMORPG. Word is: "A militaristic Republic war hero has seized the throne in a misguided attempt to protect the people of Alderaan. Watch as Republic players confront the powerful and well-protected ‘King Ulgo’, in this Highlights Video."

It Came from E3 2011, Part 24

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

  • Virtua Tennis 4 on Steam.

Patches

  • Delve Deeper on Steam.
  • Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike- Source, Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam.

On Sale

  • 2K Games on Direct2Drive. Save up to 75%.
  • All PC Games on UBIShop. Save 33%.
  • Battlefield Games on Direct2Drive. Save 60%.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale on Impulse. Get Baldur’s Gate & Tales of the Sword Coast free.
  • Interplay Summer Staycation package 2 on GOG.com. Save even more.
  • Settlers Collection on UBIShop. Save 50%.
  • Star Ruler on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Supreme Ruler 2020 Gold on Steam. Save 75%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

  • Stronghold 3 on IGN.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Star Wars Galaxies Ending in December

The Star Wars Galaxies Website announces SOE's Star Wars MMORPG will be ending on December 15, 2011, which clarifies how it would operate alongside BioWare's upcoming Star Wars The Old Republic MMORPG, which is to say that it won't. In spite of this news, the update also discusses plans for improvements planned for the game before it goes away, saying: "Yes, we are going to finish the GCW 2- Space update. As we mentioned previously, this update will have large scale GCW space battles, the ACE pilot system, and three new player ships. In addition, we are going through several of the existing ships and fixing some collision issues to make ship combat more balanced." Here's word on the shutdown:

This is the producer note that I never wanted to write. As was announced today, the Star Wars Galaxies service will come to an end on December 15th, 2011. Galaxies has been a part of all our lives for so many years that it's really going to be hard to see it end. It has meant different things to each of us. For some it's about combat. For others it's about socializing, or crafting, or collecting, or decorating, or fishing, or adventuring, or more. For all of us, though, Galaxies is about sharing experiences with our friends. May of this year was my 7th year working on this game. As a developer, Galaxies has been an opportunity for me to learn how to create a virtual universe and to interact with a community that is very passionate about the product I work on. When you look back at all the updates over the years, it's very impressive how much we managed to get done. In the end, it is our fans that made all the hard work and effort worth it.

Guild Wars 2 Underwater Combat Details

The ArenaNet Blog features a discussion of underwater combat in Guild Wars 2 from game designer Jonathan 'Chaplan' Sharp, offering screenshots showing off underwater environments and weapons, as well as a full outline of how this will work. There are also new impressions of the game floating around, as ArenaNet recently demonstrated the upcoming MMORPG sequel to a bunch of sites, who got to experience this aquatic aspect of the game firsthand. There are previews on G4tv.com, Massively, MMORPG.com (where they also have an ArenaNet Studio Tour), and PC Gamer. There's also an underwater combat video on GameSpot, and Guild Wars 2 Slovenija has clips with a pair of dungeons from the game.

F1 2011 Diary Video

This trailer is the first video developer diary for F1 2011, the next installment in Codemasters' Formula 1 racing series. The clip shows off work-in-progress gameplay footage as chief game designer Stephen Hood explains how creating the new game is about more than just updating the teams and drivers, discussing a "stack" of new features, including a particular focus on multiplayer as they seek to get more players online (not helped by retaining Games for Windows LIVE). We also hear from senior producer Paul Jeal on the topic of multiplayer before he goes on to discuss significant improvements being made to car handling, enhanced AI that's capable of making better on-track decisions. They also discuss the immersion of how the game allows the player to live the life of a driver on the pro racing circuit. We also get impressions on how all this is turning out from F1 test driver and advisor Anthony Davidson. The clip concludes by narrowing the game's previously announced September release to September 20, 2011. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Battlefield 3 Has 10 Co-op Maps

That VideoGame Blog has a new detail about the planned co-op mode in Battlefield 3, DICE's upcoming military shooter sequel. They say the latest issue of PSM3 magazine has word from executive producer Patrick Bach that the game's dedicated co-op mode includes ten maps designed for two players. That's all for now, but it's more than we knew before. Thanks VG247.

Pick Your Price Racer Proun Released

Independent Dutch independent game creator Joost van Dongen announces the release of Proun after six years of development, saying it is being offered as a "pay what you want" release. The game is available on the Proun Website, where there is also a launch trailer showing it off. Joost's Dev Blog has more on what this is all about. Here's an outline of the game: "Proun is a strange racing game in a world of geometric objects and large coloured surfaces. You avoid obstacles by rotating around a cable in order to gain as much speed as possible. There is no up or down; there is only the cable to which you are attached. Proun is a unique game that was inspired by early 20th century abstract artists like Kandinsky, El Lissitzky and Mondriaan. Proun has already been exhibited in several modern art museums and is now finally released on PC!"

BioShock Infinite Trailer

A new trailer from BioShock Infinite offers a further look at gameplay along with more explanation from Irrational Games' Ken Levine about how things will work in the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Word is: "In this video, Creative Director Ken Levine talks about Elizabeth's ability to manipulate tears, and how tears influence the gameplay in BioShock Infinite." The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Ships Ahoy - Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale

Atari announces the Windows edition of Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale is now available via digital distribution. The hack-and-slash action/RPG is available on the Atari store, GamersGate, Impulse, and Steam, and here's word on what it offers:

Players can take on the role of the melee expert Human Fighter, the quick and nimble Elven Rogue, the master of the arcane arts Halfling Wizard, and the powerful divine Dwarven Cleric. Gamers use intuitive pick-up-and-play combat combined with a wide assortment of weapons, feats and powers to defeat a wide range of deadly enemies. Players can level their character, unlocking three tiers of powers, and an extensive list of feats to create a truly unique character. As the player levels, they can add additional attribute points to their ability scores, further enhancing the performance of the character. The action-packed RPG gameplay allows for solo and co-op play for up to four players.

First Brink DLC to be Free for Two Weeks

The Bethesda Blog has details on Agents of Change, the first DLC for Brink, saying this is currently being scrutinized by Sony and Microsoft, so they expect to release it early next month. They also announce that this will be free on all platforms for the first two weeks after its release. They offer some screenshots and an outline of what this will include: "the DLC features two all-new environments, five new player abilities, two new outfits, and two new weapon attachments," and point to this post for further details. They also outline plans for a new title update ("patch" for you old-timers) for the console versions.

Saints Row: The Third Trailer

GameTrailers has a new trailer from Saints Row: The Third with a walkthrough of open world gameplay in the sandbox action game sequel. This includes beating on random pedestrians, hitting homeless people with a giant purple dildo (no really), making people explode with the apoco-fist, calling in an airstrike on an opposing gang, and engaging in a tank mayhem side-mission. In addition to random acts of violence, they also show custom outfits, maniacal driving, flying the VTOL jet (which includes further random acts of violence), as well as a few surprises (which also include further random acts of violence).

Star Ruler Patch

Blind Mind Studios now offers a new patch for Star Ruler to update their space-based strategy game to version 1.0.8.0. The download is mirrored on The Patches Scrolls, and the change log has the "not final" list of what's new and different, which is also reproduced below. Continue here to read the full story.

Hellgate Open Beta Next Week

T3 Entertainment announces beta testing of their Hellgate revival will open on June 30 for all interested North American and European players. Here's a bit on testing of what will now be a free-to-play MMORPG: "In addition to the two new game modes, Hellgate will celebrate the Open Beta launch with four special events to strengthen the growing Hellgate community. The Guild Reservoir event will encourage teamwork and collaboration as guilds with 30 or more members join together to earn rewards including nano shards or Palladiums on a per member basis. The Daily Supplies event will run for one month and will scatter daily supplies ranging from Resurrection scrolls to Power message abilities around the Greenwich headquarters. Once a day players will have a chance to acquire up to four awesome items."

Neverwinter Forum Hacking Apology

An updated post on the BioWare Social Network offers apologies for the recent hacking incident on the Neverwinter forums and an updated EA support FAQ on the topic. Here's a bit: "We take the security of your information very seriously and regret any inconvenience this may have caused our customers and fans. If your username, email address and/or password on your Neverwinter Nights account are similar to those you use on other sites, we recommend changing your password at those sites as well. We advise all of our fans to always be aware of any suspicious emails or account activity and report any suspicious emails and account activity to Customer Support at 1-877-357-6007. Aaryn FlynnStudio GM, BioWare EdmontonVP, Electronic Arts." Thanks GamesIndustry.biz.

Mass Effect 3 Mech Video

BioWare Pulse Episode 7 is online, titled "Creating Mass Effect 3. Bringing a Giant Mech to Life" (mini-mechs are kind of boring). Here's word on the video: "In Episode 7 of BioWare Pulse TV, Mass Effect 3 Lead Animator Scott Mitchell reveals details on the new Cerberus Atlas that you will have to face in Mass Effect 3. Scott reveals how the Cerberus Atlas was created, how it is animated and how Commander Shepard can take control of one in game."

It Came from E3 2011, Part 23

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well I'm glad I mentioned my frustrations with WinQUAKE, as it lead to recommendations of alternatives, including Fitzquake (thanks nin), ProQuake 4 and Quake Injector (thanks King Ghidorah), and Tenebrae (thanks |RaptoR|). The one I checked out was the one SirKnight recommended first, LordHavoc's DarkPlaces Quake Modification, which offered everything I could ask for, including beautiful 1920x1200 graphics, smooth character animations, upgrades for the sprite effects, and more. The result was incredible, and I had a great time playing through episode one, and plan on finishing the single-player game (which as I recall got to be a bit of a tedious ordeal by the end, but we'll see).

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Azriel. Thanks Daniel.
Ultimate Assassin 3.
Patapon 3.
Links: 8 Greatest Heroes-Turned-Villains in Videogame History.
Science: Hypersonic airliner promises zippy, spacecraft-like flight.
Images: How Cave Johnson Returns Junk Mail. Thanks Cave Johnson.
Nyan nyan nyah!
The Things We Do For Caffeine.
Media: Stop Forwarding that Crap to Me - Al Yankovic.
HANG ON WOODY!
Cosplay Fight Video of the Day.
How to avoid getting hit by a train.
The Funnies: Spot the Differences Cartoon - Savage Chickens.



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